Connection is a funny thing.  There are moments when the connections we have with each other are lifelines and others where they feel like weights. Sometimes dealing with our ties can feel like the most overwhelming thing in the world.  But I think the hardest thing for any woman to grapple with is disconnect.

Last week, one of our reader submissions seemed to get at this very subject when she wrote about her struggles finding black girl friends.  While many of us had different opinions and pieces of advice, one thing was clear- we all cared.

Reading through the different responses, I knew that the discussion had struck a nerve with many of us.  I just couldn’t put my finger on why.  Why did one reader’s struggle to make those bonds matter so much other women?

This morning, one of my girlfriends from college sent me a Lucille Clifton poem that helped me finally start to answer that question.

won’t you celebrate with me

won’t you celebrate with me

what i have shaped into

a kind of life? i had no model.

born in babylon

both nonwhite and woman

what did i see to be except myself?

i made it up

here on this bridge between

starshine and clay,

my one hand holding tight

my other hand; come celebrate

with me that everyday

something has tried to kill me

and has failed.

-Lucille Clifton

 

We all know what its like to be surrounded but missing the bonds we want the most. In those moments of trying to grapple with the disconnect, it’s easy to become despondent. But in those moments when we feel apart, we have to remind ourselves of all the things we have in common.

No matter where a sister is from, how she grew up or who she hangs with now, there is a line in her story that could be taken from your book.  Today, find connection in the fact that we all know what it is to say that “everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.”

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  • Gigi Young

    Very awesome and powerful piece.